Analysis of waves of immigration to Israel, 1989-2001

Ilan Riss, Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics

Migration streams are wavy in their nature, and the expression “waves of migration” is frequently used in research of migrations. Additionally, migratory waves in literature are referred as inverted U-shaped curves or “migration humps.” However, the wave phenomena that are related to the migration wave are still insufficiently appreciated. This study attempts to consider migration as a wave process—a perception of migration that we term the “wave approach.” Our purpose is to draw attention to the proposed in the paper hypothesis about interrelations that develop between migration waves and selectivity of migrants as the wave of migration progresses. We analyze these possible interrelations using the data about immigration to Israel. The results of this analysis may be summed up as follows. During the development of wave of migration, volume and composition of migratory stream undergo systematical interdependent changes. At the start of a migratory wave, several definite types of people migrate - persons weakly connected with their place of residence, people motivated by Wanderlust, ideological migrants, and the like. With the growth of the volume of migratory stream, a share of migrants that respond to the main generative factors of the migration grows as well. With the fading of migratory wave, migrate people tied in any way to the previous migrants, such as their family members, or on the contrary, alienated persons, who could not make migratory decision earlier due their inability to obtain relevant information. Wave phenomena in migratory processes become apparent only in waves of migration that are sufficiently large in their amplitude. Ignoring the wave nature of selectivity in migration may lead to erroneous conclusions about positive or negative selection of migrants in considered stream if the stage of migratory wave from which the data for analysis was drawn had not been taken into account.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 1